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HPOG Promising Practice Action for a Better Community, Inc.–Recruitment; Education, Training, & Support Services

Published: September 9, 2020
Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG)
Promising Practices

Rochester, NY

HPOG staff thinks outside of typical program design to meet enrollment needs.

The Rochester Health Professions Opportunity Grant (ROC-HPOG) program at Action for a Better Community Inc. is different from other HPOG programs. Located in Rochester, NY, the program is made up of partnering community organizations and educational institutes. This setup enables ROC-HPOG to host program information sessions and provide support services at multiple healthcare trainings locations throughout Monroe County. The program was designed this way so community agencies could recruit program participants, guide recruits to the appropriate training partner, and, eventually, employment.

Unfortunately, by the end of ROC-HPOG’s third year in operation, program enrollment was declining. The ROC-HPOG team knew they had to regroup. Together, the ROC-HPOG staff created a strategy to utilize its training and employment partners to increase enrollment, training completion, and employment retention.

As part of the new strategy, ROC-HPOG assigns on-site HPOG navigators to their community partners. With the navigators in place, ROC-HPOG can recruit and offer case management and support directly to potential program participants at their training sites. Because of the navigators’ efforts, close to 300 participants enrolled in the second half of the program year—a 200% increase from the first half of the year.

One example of the new strategy’s success is the partnership with Monroe Community College’s (MCC) certified nursing assistant (CNA) program. The new program is located in downtown Rochester, designed to assist and train those wanting to become a CNA. Seeing an opportunity to bring support services to more students in Rochester, ROC-HPOG invited MCC to become a training partner.

ROC-HPOG collaborated with MCC to form a partnership that enables navigators to be on site at the training center to provide HPOG information sessions, intake appointments, and case management. The time between a potential participant’s initial information session to MCC CNA program intake is very short. Knowing this, ROC-HPOG places three to four navigators on site for two days to ensure that any qualifying MCC CNA students interested in ROC-HPOG assistance can complete an application.

The presence of the on-site navigators allowed 56 people from the MCC CNA training site to enroll in the ROC-HPOG program. All received tuition assistance and uniforms. At last report, 27 of those enrolled participants completed CNA training and became employed, another 27 are currently enrolled in CNA training, and only two were unable to complete the program. ROC-HPOG offers each of the participants assistance with minor automobile repairs, one weekly or monthly bus pass to travel to and from training or employment, limited childcare assistance, and funds to cover the cost of textbooks, applications, and state testing fees. Four recipients also received additional emergency housing assistance, which allowed them to stay in their homes, complete training, and become employed.

ROC-HPOG continues to run operations outside of the program design box in order to meet the needs of its participants, training partners, and employers.

This Promising Practice was self-identified by the grantee and information contained in this document was provided by the grantee.

Last Reviewed: September 9, 2020